Enologist and Wine Consultant
Course(s): VIN 110 - Introduction to Wine Microorganisms
Darren Michaels graduated with a BS in Biochemistry in 1997 after performing scholarship-funded research in batch fermentations of ACC Oxidase and Polyphenol Oxidase for enzymatic analysis. As a research associate of Scripps Research Institute, he developed fermentation programs of antibodies for vaccine research of Hantavirus, HIV, Ebola, and Creuztfeldt-Jakob. He decided to pour his interest and fermentation experience into the wine industry and accepted a position as wine chemist at Trinchero Family Estates, working for years on novel pesticide analytical methods, phenolic analysis, and method validation for ISO standards.
In 2005 he moved to the central coast of California and into the position of Manager of the Central Coast Offices of Vinquiry, managing full-time commercial lab staff, enological consulting, product support, method development, and as a trained auditor for ISO 17025 accreditation. In 2008 he was offered and accepted the position of Director of Enology, a new state-of-the-art custom crush and private label winery Terravant Wine Company, designing and running a new commercial wine laboratory, building quality systems, managing staff and budgets, and consulting for all custom crush and wine making services and worked as a Technical Enologist with Laffort USA. Darren now serves as a technical winemaker for Laffort USA and is based in Washington state running Tetrahedron Winery and Big River Laboratories, a lab that supports and consults for wine, cider, kombucha, vinegar, low alcohol and alcohol-free beverage producers.
Regularly contributing to technical papers and published works since 1998, Darren has also enjoyed teaching and guest lecturing in college classes. He is the first instructor and program developer for Wine Analysis at Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria and enjoys the time with his online students as a VESTA instructor.